Mindful Emotions

By Jessica Diktas

“When you are willing to feel it…you can heal it.”

Fun Facts: A human can make over 10,000 facial expressions to express a wide variety of subtle emotions. The word “emotion” is from the Latin emovere, “to move out. Emotions can last from less than a second to several minutes. Sad emotions tend to affect you for longer than the positive ones. Moods lasts much longer than an emotion. From minutes to several days. It also affects how you experience emotions. For instance, if you’re in an irritable mood, you tend to experience anger more readily than usual. You can cultivate and change your emotions. Thanks to amazing prefrontal cortex you can shift your attention from an emotion, interpret it in your own way or even change the meaning of it, thus your reaction to it. Self-awareness is the key. The earlier you recognize an emotion, the more choice you have in dealing with it. You gain more self-awareness through practices of mindfulness.

Mindful Exercise: R.A.I.N

R: Recognize the feeling that you are experiencing. Give the feeling a name if you can. Identifying the feeling can take its power away.

A: Allow the experience to be there, just as it is. It is most likely unpleasant, but it’s just an emotion that will pass. It’s here right now, so don’t fight it.

I: Investigate the feeling with kindness. How does it feel in your body? Where are you feeling it most strongly? What types of thoughts does this emotion cause you to think about? Is it making you tense up or feel badly at all?

N: Non-identification. This emotion is not who you are, it’s just a feeling that will go away with time. You may be feeling badly, but you are not bad. Sadness may be washing over you, but it will go away and you don’t have to hang on to it. It will pass. When difficult feelings and emotions arise in us, we may need to go through the whole RAIN process to work through the feelings, or we might just need to do one or two steps. The more experience you have working through each step, the more skilled you will be at understanding what you need to do to work through the difficulty.

TEDx Talk

“The Power of Mindsight” by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. at TEDxBlue. Hear his thoughts about adding Reflection, Relationships, and Resilience to education: